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Pure Appl. Chem., 2005, Vol. 77, No. 4, pp. 739-800


Chemical speciation of environmentally significant heavy metals with inorganic ligands. Part 1: The Hg2+– Cl, OH, CO32–, SO42–, and PO43– aqueous systems (IUPAC Technical Report)

Kipton J. Powell1*, Paul L. Brown2, Robert H. Byrne3, Tamás Gajda4, Glenn Hefter5, Staffan Sjöberg6 and Hans Wanner7

1 Department of Chemistry, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
2 Australian Sustainable Industry Research Centre, Building 4W, Monash University, Gippsland Campus, Churchill VIC 3842, Australia
3 College of Marine Science, University of South Florida, 140 Seventh Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701-5016, USA
4 Department of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, University of Szeged, P.O. Box 440, Szeged 6701, Hungary
5 School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia
6 Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Umeå University, S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden
7 Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate, CH-5232 Villigen, Switzerland

This document presents a critical evaluation of the equilibrium constants and reaction enthalpies for the complex formation reactions between aqueous Hg(II) and the common environmental inorganic ligands Cl, OH, CO32–, SO42–, and PO43–. The analysis used data from the IUPAC Stability Constants database, SC‑Database, focusing particularly on values for 25 °C and perchlorate media. Specific ion interaction theory (SIT) was applied to reliable data available for the ionic strength range Ic < 3.0 mol dm–3.
Recommended values of log10 βp,q,r° and the associated reaction enthalpies, ∆rHm°, valid at Im = 0 mol kg–1 and 25 °C, were obtained by weighted linear regression using the SIT equations. Also reported are the equations and specific ion interaction coefficients required to calculate log10 βp,q,r° values at higher ionic strengths and other temperatures. A similar analysis is reported for the reactions of H+ with CO32– and PO43–.
Diagrams are presented to show the calculated distribution of Hg(II) amongst these inorganic ligands in model natural waters. Under typical environmental conditions, Hg(II) speciation is dominated by the formation of HgCl2(aq), Hg(OH)Cl(aq), and Hg(OH)2(aq).